Do you want to study the French language? If yes, you ought to learn how to conjugate the verb avoir, because you will use it every single day when you speak French.

The verb avoir is an indispensable verb, along with the verb être. While it is not easy to use them and put them at the right place in the sentence.

Are you ready to learn everything you need to know about the irregular French verb avoir?

Note: I emphasized the verb avoir when I need to demonstrate something. The English translation will also be in bold.

1)The verb avoir is one of the most common French verbs. It is an irregular verb, and the meaning is: “to have”.

2)The verb to have have several meanings, and amongst them, the possession.


a) Some examples in the present tense:

J'ai une nouvelle maison: means “I have a new house”

J'ai une belle voiture: means “I own a beautiful car”

b) An example in the past tense:

J'ai eu une belle voiture: means “I owned a beautiful car”

As an English or an American native, the verb avoir can be confusing, because sometimes it has the meaning of to be.

Let's see an example:

How old are you? I am 20 years old. Translation: Quel age as-tu? J'ai 20 ans.

When you look at the example above, you notice that “I am 20 years old.” is not “Je suis 20 ans.”

It becomes even more difficult since the translation of “I am” should be “Je suis” (Je suis is taken from the first person of the verb to be).

It is not the only one, but you will find many expressions with this subtlety:

I am thirsty = J'ai soif (instead of Je suis soif)
I am cold = J'ai froid (instead of Je suis froid)

There is a secret to overcome this little problem: practice! Listen to French everyday. There are a lot of magazine, audio tapes and tools to help you, and with the Internet, you don't even need to visit Paris!

I do recommend that you see what's going on there though.

Author's Bio: 

Franck Silvestre is a French native speaker, teacher, and web master of Learn To Speak French. He helps people to learn French online and write reviews of different Learn French softwares and tools. He also an active blogger, and you can bookmark his blog now at: Learn French On The Internet.